December 15, 2005

Gratifying display of success

This is a short passage about a man, ABC, who has built himself a house above a beautiful lake that supplies drinking water to a city, XYZ, therefore contaminating that water. Here it is:
    As to why, therefore, he insisted on building a weekend house that drained into XYZ's drinking water, the answer is indeed twisted, though in a standard ... way: the attraction was not in the setting on the lake (there are prettier lakes nearby) but, rather, in the open defiance of the law -- an opportunity for the display of personal power. In a country ... whose most fundamental laws have been systematically ignored by corrupt [governments], once wealth has been achieved there can be no more gratifying display of success than such a brazen act of illegality. ABC's house on the lake served as a barely coded message, and one that was universally understood by [his fellow citizens]. It was a public brag. People did not disapprove of ABC for what he had done. Even in XYZ they tended rather to admire him for it. It remained illegal to build on the lake, and as a result, by twisted logic, the restricted property there became some of the most sought after in the region.

Question: who is this man? No Googling.

***

Update: AQ Khan, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Arzan has it, see second comment.

21 comments:

TTG said...

no f-ing idea. But...the country in question is clearly America. Only in America....

arZan said...

Dr. Abdul Quadeer Khan, the metallurgist who after a stint in Europe had returned to Pakistan in the mid-1970s with stolen designs, and over the years had provided the country--single-handedly, it was widely believed--with an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Rawalpindi is the city

Pakistan is the country !!

here is the article

Quizman said...

If I recall correctly Bill Gates built a controversial home next to a lake some years back. Is it him?

zap said...

I have no clue either.
Having said that, Google, here i come.

Nikhil said...

It is more likely this seems to have happened in India. I doubt whether there can be such brazen show of power or flouting of the law. People there have better concerns about the welfare of fellow human beings.

Nikhil said...

I am just guessing - Is this Hirnandani at Powai lake? Purely going by geography and the fact that this is a sought after piece of real estate.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Arzan is the first to get this right, but I'm holding his comment to see if any of you can get it too.

Mridula said...

When are you letting us know? Because I have no clue who are the people involved.

uma said...

ugh! sorry, i had to google because i was so horrified. :(

uma said...

how sad to see the guesses, though. america, india, powai... it could happen anywhere, i suppose.

uma said...

oh, but i must add that the clue was really the quality of the writing. i don't imagine this article would appear in the ht style supplement or the bt.

Sailesh Ganesh said...

I guessed the country correctly, but not the person. I chose his best friend instead, before I googled to check my guess.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Uma, it could happen anywhere I suppose. But something about this passage reminded me of Pavan Varma in his book "Being Indian", where he writes about the "moral relativism" of Indians. That our "understanding of right and wrong is far more related to efficacy than to absolutist notions of morality."

Not that this should be construed as a hint. Sorry Mridula, I had decided to give it 24 hours. Let's see if we get any more guesses.

Mridula said...

24 hours did the trick, I googled!

Neela said...

dilip,

why are you doing this? sounds like one of those horrible questions in the history exam where you've clean forgotten shivaji's henchman who climbed the fort and stabbed someone and you have just seen your 15 marks go to someone with a better memory for names..

No I shall not google.

I await yours sir, humbly

n!

Sunil said...

I'm guessing Bill Gates.....his house on lake Washington flouted a bunch of rules and caused some trouble...

But it could be any one. Tell, tell.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Arzan has it: see second comment.

TTG said...

(I Eat my words - it's breakfast time anyway. I would not have expected it of Pakistan....:-)) A blogger who refuses to remain nameless...

Buchu said...

Dilip, your post says AG Khan, I presume you mean A.Q. Khan, the nuclear scientist?
Sorry, I couldn't contain my curiosity and googled too :)

Dilip D'Souza said...

Buchu, yes of course I mean AQ Khan! Sorry. Will correct.

wise donkey said...

!!
didnt imagine it would be gates..